Joan of Arcadia
Anonymous

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Deborah: B+ | 20 USERS: A
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"Anonymous" Was A Woman

Helen's alone in her classroom when Joan arrives. Her mother asks, "How's Mr. Turnbull? His combover stylish as always?" Joan says hesitantly, "I wanted to leave with you…" Helen: "You don't have to explain yourself to me." Has any mother ever said that and actually meant it? Please. Joan says she does: "You were so on my side, and it was like I just dissed you after we'd been through this thing together." Helen agrees. Joan says she had to stay: "There was a poem I had to find." Helen: "A poem? I'm trying, Joan. I want to be there for you, but when I am, you want me to back off. And when I back off, you say that I'm not supporting you." Joan: "I wish I could explain…but I don't -- I don't get it myself…" Helen: "I know the teenage thing is hard, but…boy, it is not easy being a mother, either. I think I have it down with one kid, and then something springs up and I'm clueless all over again." Joan says in a small voice that she's sorry. They're both kind of teary. Helen: "You just have to understand: whatever it is, if we don't go through it together…I don't want to lose you." Joan takes her mother's hand as Helen cries, and tells her, "You have to trust…that what I'm doing…there are reasons." Helen's look is utter disbelief. Joan: "And it's all gonna be okay." Helen: "Promise?" Joan nods. They hug. Dumpster God suddenly apologizes for interrupting and says he's there to collect the recycling. He sort of beams meaningfully at Joan. Joan says to her mother that she should help him carry things out.

Out in the hall, she asks, "You're not going to make me go through all this stuff, are you?" He isn't. He just wanted to tell her "nice job." Joan: "Nice job on what?" Dumpster God: "Yearbook! You're finished." Joan: "How can I be finished? I don't even know what my thing is yet. Isn't that what this is supposed to be about?" His reply: "Maybe for you. I just wanted you to find that poem." Joan: "Why? Nobody's ever going to know who wrote it. What good does that do?" He asks if she knows who carved the façade of Notre Dame, or the sculptures at the Parthenon. Joan sighs and says she hasn't gotten to that chapter yet. Dumpster God: "No one knows. Their names are lost to everyone but me. But does that make their creations any less beautiful?" Joan: "You know, I'd really love to feel like I've been working on Notre Dame, but…somehow…" He assures her, "Who you are is enough, Joan. You already have your thing. You're a searcher, and you try, and you fail, and you try again." Joan's in tears: "So my thing is…failing? Thanks. That makes me feel a lot better." I think it's more like this quotation from yogi Sri Aurobindo, Joan: "By your stumbling, the world is perfected." Dumpster God tells Joan: "Stop hiding who you are." He nods and raises his eyebrow slightly. That could mean a lot of things, including: stop hiding your relationship with God. He shuffles off down the hall.

Adam's on the roof, drawing in a large sketchbook, when Joan arrives with a box of stuff and sits down next to him, asking what he's drawing. He shows her his sketch: "Um…you." It's a nice image of Joan, holding a piece of paper -- probably the poem. She smiles shyly and says, "I never got a chance to sit for you." Adam: "Well, I didn't need you to." Boy has an eidetic memory, remember? The song playing is called "Love and Hope" by 4 Way Street. He draws intently while Joan looks at him, her expression a mixture of fondness and anxiety. She finally says, "Adam…you know how you said I could talk to you about anything, and I said I knew that?" Adam: "Yeah." Joan: "I -- I lied. I think I've been afraid to talk to you about almost…everything." Adam asks why. She replies, "I didn't want to mess up what we have." Adam's dismayed: "Jane…you…" She confesses she didn't take back her pictures: "I got fired. I'm not a photographer or an artist like Iris, I'm not a literary editor or…a science geek or anything. I mean, I tried to be, but I'm not. I'm really just…digging around in the garbage, trying to…find something that matters." Adam puts his sketchbook aside and turns to her: "That's what I love about you, Jane." Joan: "Yeah?" Adam: "Yeah." They kiss gently and smile at each other. Joan remembers why she came up there, and pulls the box closer. Grabbing a few pages out of the box, she says, "Grace can still be anonymous -- but everyone's going to see her poem. Like Notre Dame. Come on!"

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Joan of Arcadia

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